Way back in August we heard that a new iPad Pro was in the works. One that looked a little like the iPhone 11 Pro in the camera department – although we didn't know that was what it would be called at the time. Since then we've been wondering that that means not just for how the device will look, but how we'll use it, too.
We didn't have to wonder too long. Parts started to appear online and Apple Insider was even able to get hold of a dummy unit. Those kinds of things don't normally happen if there's more smoke than fire.
So now that we have our first look at what we think is going to be 2019's iPad Pro refresh, what do we think?
Personally, I think it looks great. It's the 2018 iPad form factor that I already love and I'd happily take an iPhone that looks like this without hessitation. But there's a blemish that's difficult to ignore, That. Camera. Bump.
It looks like it's the same camera bump – and presumably the same cameras – that we've now becomed accustomed to in iPhone 11 Pro. At first I thought it looked ugly there, too. But now I've spent time with the phone and used it daily, I don't even notice it anymore. It's the same as the notch that caused such a fuss in 2017. Nobody even notices it in 2019.
My main question isn't whether the camera bump looks good. It's more about why it's there in the first place. We've all stood behind someone taking a photo with an iPad and rolled our eyes. But was that because the camera in previous iPas was bad? Possibly. Holding a 10-inch slab of glass to take a photo doesn't sound like my idea of fun, either.
But what if those cameras are good. What if they're iPhone 11 Pro levels of good, like we're hearing. And what if you could record something in 4K and then edit it on a 12.9-inch screen right there and then, multi-touch and all? That might change things somewhat. It might, dare I say it, make iPad photography a thing.
It just might.
But what about you? What are your thoughts about the new iPad Pro – if indeed that's what we're looking at here – and that camera bump? I want to hear in the comments and in our poll. Light them up!
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
An iPad Pro is an extremely portable powerhouse. I'd love to see it reviewed (from now on) by people that could really put it to use. Like producers of musicals (contracts, sheet music, technical details of the stage at every venue) or planners and coordinators of elaborate works on a busy railroad (like here in the Netherlands, where such work is likely to occupy tens or hundreds of people from several contractors, working non-stop in shifts). Where different kinds of software and GPS are required, and where you'd be glad NOT to carry a keyboard where you don't need it - rather than bothering about turning a great tablet into a mediocre notebook. Where cameras on a tablet might occasionally be handy while being on location (with no place to safely leave the tablet while grabbing a smartphone with a better camera). Where you'd be irritated by everything connected by wire. I'm typing this on the current top 12.9" iPad, on the couch. But I hardly use it for watching videos: I'm using smart-TV for that. I'm using some kind of case on every tablet (and smartphone), so any camera bump will be compensated by a hole anyway. iMore editors, don't take my rant as an offence, but rather as an inspiration. Apple itself should treat (and market) this device as a business asset rather than a mere private entertainment center.
I think it's about time that the cameras on iPads are improved. There is nothing wrong with taking pictures on a iPad. I have done it. Also, no one cares about "camera bumps". Everything goes into a case. No one is going to carry around a $1,000 phone or a $2,000 iPad without first putting it into a $10 case. In fact, I don't even use a new phone or tablet until the case arrives. It is simply foolish - heading toward retarded - to do otherwise.
No doubt, better camera(s) in any mobile device are always nice - so go ahead Apple and build all the iPhone 11 camera magic also into the iPad. But for me, 'iPad photography' is paradox. The beauty of mobile photography is the fact that my iPhone is always in my pocket and my still much better DSLR is not (old photographer's wisdom: 'The best camera is the one you have with you'). But if I had to carry an extra device to take photos, I'd rather go for a dedicated camera. Having said that, I can see a 12,9" viewfinder might be sexy, especially for filming. Let's see what Apple really has in store :).
I would use it for video. The larger display would be an excellent monitor to nail composition and peak focus. I would need a tripod mount first. Then, I need ND filters for videoing outdoors. Lastly, a matte box or lens hood to control sunlight hitting lenses.
I don’t think the iPad Pro will have the entire lens configuration. The iPhone 11 Pro is their premium product and it makes more sense on a smaller and more flexible device.
Looks nice but Apple needs to keep innovating. Just saw the Surface Pro X. Wow. It seems a little under-powered so I hope Apple keeps up. Competition is good for both companies...and great for us consumers.
I don't understand the kind of groupthink lemming attitude that condemns taking photos on a tablet. Why do we care if the device the photographer is holding looks like a huge slab, or a tiny phone, or an SLR, or a giant amoeba or miniature dinosaur? It's what's on the other side of the lens that's getting captured, not what's behind it. Of course, I also am the guy who doesn't understand why the word 'design' has become conflated with the cosmetic appearance of these devices. I'm an engineer, and when we talk about computers (which these devices are), I mean something *very* different by the word *design*. I....DON'T....UNDERSTAND...THAT...KIND....OF....THINKING....LET....ME....UP
I really don't see the desire for a premium camera system in a larger iPad. Let's look at it this way I get two or three iPhone 11 Max phones mounted up as my cameras shooting a video, feeding somehow to an iPad Pro which is my switch console of the feeds and the storage point of the raw and/or finished work. Why would I need a camera in the iPad Pro? I can see interview and news collection moving this way as its such a more compact kit with a set of LED lights a small duffle bag could carry everything! What it now takes four or five large hard cases and a bunch of heavy light stands for the hot! quartz halogen lights. Someone working as an insurance adjuster might use it documenting the damage but wouldn't they more likely have a phone? Using the iPad in the car for writing up the claim? As a still photographer I will get a iPhone 11 Max as I don't want something so large when shooting spur of the moment pics when I travel. I will still be using a proper DSLR camera as I have more choices of lenses and settings. I would use my iPad to review my pics and store them. I will agree phone cameras and the software on them are getting better! Some of what Apple is able to perform in software my pro camera's just can't do! I would love to see Apple partner up with one of the big camera makers, but I'm sure that would not likely happen.
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